PETER BYRON THORNTON was born on October 20, 1953 to Peter and Evelyn Thornton, who were Texas Southern University professors in the departments of counseling and English, respectively. His primary education was completed in the Houston public school system.
He was awarded an Anne C. Stouffer Foundation scholarship to attend St. Andrew’s School in Boca Raton Florida. The foundation initiated the scholarship to begin the integration of Southern prep schools.
Upon completion of St. Andrew’s, he was accepted in the School of Public Communication at Boston University and earned a BS in Broadcasting and Film. He was one of the first graduates in the TSU School of Communication to earn an MA in Telecommunication. He subsequently earned a MS in Instructional Technology at the University of Southern California. Prior to returning to Houston, he pursued a doctorate in American Studies at the University of Iowa.
As an instructor at TSU, he has been on the faculty in the department of English and in the School of Communication. He also served as an assistant to the provost.